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August 26, 2020

discussion on personal experiences with racial inequities in society and in the workplace was the focus of the Fort Worth Chamber's Online Office Hours last week. The recording, available here, includes organizational approaches to diversity and inclusion. Moderator Mike Coffey, Imperative Information Group, hosted panelists Glenn Forbes, WhitneySmith, Alyce Jones, Adair Eyewear, Rachel Phillips, The Rios Group, and Dante Williams, DIG Contracting.
Click on the links below to enter for prizes
I’ll drink to that: Acre Distilling had plenty to do Cheers! for last week. Founder Tony Fornby said the regulating TABC, after re-classifying some sales numbers, has allowed Acre to re-open. (glasses clink) The solar-panel covered patio area has opened and despite the August heat, it’s a favored spot for patrons. (glasses clink) Finally, Acre was named the 2020 U.S. Open Spirits' National Grand Champion by winning three Gold Medals -- Two Minnies Gin, Golden Halo Barrel Finished Vodka and Hop Along Cassidy Hopped Whisky -- and a Bronze for Hell's Half Acre Barrel Aged Rum. (glasses clink) To celebrate, Tony has a bottle of the three golden goodies for one reader. He also explained that Mr. B didn’t misuse spell check: the Scots write whisky and the Irish write whiskey.
Approved by Pope, Lena: DFW Restaurant Week, which isn’t just a week, starts Monday for its 23rd, 24th or 25th year. Mr. B thinks it must be all the drink with the special dinner offers that has clouded the minds of many. Actually, it wasn’t always DFW because Pavlov PR historian Claire (not related to Louie or Neil) Armstrong says it’s the 23rd year Lena Pope is the Fort Worth beneficiary. Nineteen different Tarrant County restaurants have stepped up in the worst of times to deliver the best of dining times. Restaurant Week officially is Aug. 31-Sept. 6, with optional extensions through Sept. 27 (Restaurant Month). Dine-in and take-out options -- three-course prix fixe dinners for $39 or $49 and two-course lunches for $19 – are available and 10 percent is donated to Lena Pope. One of the participating restaurants is Grace and Lena Pope has a $100 gift card to Grace, which is offering its Restaurant Week menu through Sept. 27.
Booyakasha is the new Cowabunga: By day, Kenn Scott is Chief Creative Officer at Avadel, a Facebook-centric agency. Avadel, led by Kenn and David Valentine, is growing almost as fast as Kenn is creative. Kenn wanted to be an action hero, so he trained in martial arts, took acting classes, studied film production and voila! he was Raphael in the original Ninja Turtles movies of the ’90s. He wanted to write a book, so he wrote the “inside” story (from a green suit with a red mask) of filming the Turtles and being a Turtle. (Funny / sarcastic Raphael, or Raph, also was the “muscle” guy.) Kenn did some other acting, then moved behind the camera to write and direct for movies, television, and even the CIA. Soon, after COVID sheltering, Kenn again will be a featured attraction at comic-cons around the world. In the meantime, he says rock out with a Ninja Turtle movie pizza party on him. Win two large pizzas, an autographed book and photo, and Kenn will do a personal Zoom with you and your friends before you watch the movie (Amazon Prime Video for free or cheap). That's turtle-rific!
Congratulations to the August 19th
Prize Winners:

  • Kathy Kassabian Reid, McDonald Sanders
  • John Laudenslager, Wiliams Northern Crain
  • Pam Ballinger, Jeff Eubank Roofing
So long, farewell: Caroline Jones, the latest (No. 103) person to make Mr. B look better than he does while sending out the weekly B2B Insider, is off to better things. Mr. B understands there now are internal rumblings that it would be easier to lose him than keep facing these turnovers caused by his rants. Thank you for all you did, Caroline.
You look great for your age: Mr. B was a bit surprised that Martha Earngey ’77, Director of Development for Annual Gifts at Texas Wesleyan University, tells everyone her age. “I know, right? We also include the graduation year on our university name tags,” she said. “It does confuse some people, but can be an icebreaker. I plan to live past that age.”
Dollars and sense: Comments from Glenn Hegar, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, during a Chamber webinar last week:
  • What is a comptroller? “I’m like the CFO of the 9th largest economy in the world.”
  • The Russia-Saudi OPEC dispute during February was a significant contraction to the economy before COVID-19 piled on.
  • Sales taxes, 57-58 percent of revenue to the state’s treasury, were running ahead through February.
  • Since COVID, home improvement and home workout equipment are ahead ($460 million) in sales tax revenues; most other revenue streams are negative, but not as drastic as they were after April and May.
  • “This is a good time to re-evaluate our rules and regulations” for a business friendly environment.
  • The hesitancy to spend is more about fear and safety than government shutdowns.
Funster punster: Chamber veep of verbiage Netty Matthews says, “due to the recent coin shortage, I will no longer be accepting anyone’s two cents.”
Checking in on Michael Scott: Office furniture guru Greg Carter at WRG is thinking differently about short-term and long-term space demand. He admits he’s not a “futurist,” but knows today that “government and healthcare are strong; most others are wait-and-see.” He says there will be fewer private offices, but believes office space is going to be "an important part of employee retention.”
“I'm not a scientist and don't play one on TV.”

-Beth Standlee, TrainerTainment
during COVID-19 discussion
New norm…virtual and free? The Chamber’s (Virtual) Annual Meeting Sept. 29 at your place, catered by you, is FREE. That’s a first … as far back as recently retired CEO Bill Thornton can remember and he attended his first Annual Meeting in 1916. Presenting Sponsor Frost Bank and many other sponsor/supporters are picking up the tab. You still have to register.
Act fast, please: Seems as if Mr. B has some (friendly? Darrell Brown, a fellow B) competition for giveaways. Mr. Brown, the E-D of Student Affairs at Tarleton State University, has an opportunity to connect Chamber businesses to students. Normally, a business rep could go to campus and glad-hand, make friends. Not this year. Tarleton is collecting coupons and promo items from local businesses for a swag bag to give to students TOMORROW. If you have something you'd like to share, let Alisa Meriwether know RIGHT NOW.
IT services has it going on: TriQuest Technologies (cybersecurity, managed IT services and business cloud infrastructure) and Blue Jean Networks (IT managed services) are among Inc. magazine’s 2020 Top 5000 fastest-growing private businesses. TriQuest (162 percent growth) ranks 2,539; Blue Jean Networks (59 percent) is at 4,828.
Fab-ulous news: Speed Fab-Crete has been honored with the Design-Build Institute of America’s National Merit Award in the “Commercial / Office” category for its Greenwood Funeral Home Advance Planning Office project. The 5,667-square-foot office is located behind Greenwood's iconic Four Horsemen-guarded gateway. Callahan & Freeman was the architect.
Your vote counts: If you want to help Moncrief Cancer Institute and guarantee 100 percent you’ll never get cancer, you can vote for it as the 2022 Charity of Choice for Foodie Philanthropy. Foodies cook, you eat and funds go to the Charity of Choice. You can vote here. (Editor's note: A disclaimer probably needed about that guarantee…)
To comply with Tarrant County's recommendations on public gatherings, our in-person programs are currently on hold. Please see our upcoming virtual resources below.
Thursday, August 27
Vision FW: YP Summit 2020
Thursday, September 24
Legislative Power Hour
Tuesday, September 29
Annual Meeting 2020
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